VIRGIN Australia flight 436 from Brisbane touched down on the hot airport tarmac at 12.46pm yesterday and marked a key moment in Cloncurry's aviation history.
The momentous landing wasn't just celebrated by those travelling to Cloncurry or the people stepping on to the plane for their first Virgin Australia flight to Brisbane.
The Queensland Fire and Rescue service was also out in force to christen the inaugural flight.
Massive jets of water from two fire hoses showered over the plane as it taxied into the Cloncurry Airport to mark the occasion.
Cloncurry Shire Council chief executive David Neeves was there to witness the historic moment and said the service represented a fantastic opportunity for Cloncurry.
``I'm flying out of Cloncurry on this service on the 20th of December and I look forward to landing back in Cloncurry Airport when I return,'' he said.
He said Cloncurry residents and business owners on the flight had already told him how brilliant the service was.
Virgin Australia Queensland regional manager Ann Elliot stepped off the jam-packed maiden flight with mine workers and Cloncurry commuters.
She said the company was very excited it was able to bring the service to Cloncurry.
``What it means for the community and business is that mums and dads and businesses won't have to make the drive to Mount Isa to fly to Brisbane,'' she said.
Mrs Elliot said when Virgin Australia started flying into Moranbah the price of flights dropped by 30 per cent. She said Cloncurry residents already had access to cheaper sale fares.
She said the fact a number of flights were already completely booked up leading into Christmas was a sign that Virgin Australia was bringing competition back.
``Without the support of business and the community we wouldn't have been able to do this,'' she said. ``It also wouldn't have happened without support from Cloncurry Mayor Andrew Daniels, chief executive David Neeves and the rest of the community.''
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